Is this Retina MacBook right for me?

InfiniteLoopy

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Dec 14, 2010
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So my Unibody MacBook is old. My data set is about 450GB. It's starting to be slow at times in Photos and when opening apps, but generally is fine for what I do. The single thing that bothers me most is the fan noise even when the CPU is only taxed a little, and I know, with the hot weather coming, this will only be made worse.

I am a light user, I mainly write, use Safari, edit photos and my MacBook is generally used as a local storage for my files. I would like to be able to view and edit 4K video. This doesn't have to be super fast, but better than just "useable."

The only things I plug into my Mac are headphones and USB devices (external hard drives and keys, a blu-ray player, a photo printer, and a camera or SD card reader) so I don't think the lack of TB bothers me.

I see my options as follows:

- Get an SSD (512GB?) for my MacBook, which will make it fast enough for me ... for now.
- Wait for WWDC ... but do I really need a MBP? Would it be silent? Is there any chance it could have Touch ID?
- Get a Retina MacBook (do I need anything beyond the base model?). The camera is annoying, but I guess I could Facetime on my iPhone. I could get an external 500GB SSD for less than the upgrade from 256 to 512 and store on it files I don't need daily (photo archive...), but it will be an extra hassle to manage. To be honest, 512 would probably not even be enough in a year or two so the external drive may become inevitable. Also, is there absolutely no way to connect the RMB to a Minidisplayport ACD (the one with the integrated cable) and run it at its native resolution?

I wish the RMB supported 4k at 60hz on external monitors for future proofing, but do I need 60hz? When I film on my iPhone, it's 4k at 30hz, my other camera shoots at 24hz.


Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

where is it

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2012
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By the sounds of what you describe, the Macbook really isn't for you!

Get a Macbook Pro for what you are planning with a 1tb ssd, connectivity, external monitor etc...
 
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InfiniteLoopy

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Hi, yes, 1TB SSD would be ideal, but I may be tempted in putting up with an external drive (which would hold rarely-used media files) for the silent Retina MacBook...
 

where is it

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2012
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Hi, yes, 1TB SSD would be ideal, but I may be tempted in putting up with an external drive (which would hold rarely-used media files) for the silent Retina MacBook...

Problem is if you re-read everything you wrote on the original post you have so many conflicts and misunderstandings it would be a bad move to buy a Macbook in your situation.

You say in one breath that you would use it for light use, but in the other you want to edit 4k video and connect an external monitor.

Peripherals is another area you mentioned. Your going to have a ton of adaptors and cables dangling everywhere to connect what you want. Not really the spirit of going wireless.

Worst of all you want a fanless design as the hot weather is on its way. The Macbook with run a lot slower in warm situations because there is no way to cool it, again performance will suffer with what you plan to do with it.

Money no option, your better off with a 27" iMac, sat on a desk with all your peripherals connected nicely together.

Then buy a Macbook.

Then if you wish to sit outside on a nice day and do some work, you can take what you have on your iMac and pop it on your Macbook.

That's kind of more of what the Macbook is for, ultra portability and an extension of a home office set-up. Rather than an exclusive system.

With all that said, there is nothing stopping the Macbook doing all the things you suggest. It's just your going very much against the grain.
 

boast

macrumors 65816
Nov 12, 2007
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The MacBook is not really designed for hooking it up to monitors or hooking up multiple USB devices. I'm not saying it can't do it, but it is created to be standalone 99% of the time.

I suggest you wait and see the new rMBP devices this summer.
 

InfiniteLoopy

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Original poster
Dec 14, 2010
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I appreciate your long response.

Perhaps I should be clearer on certain points:

Editing 4K: I'm not looking to make the next Pixar movie, I would just like to view/edit stuff I shoot on my iPhone or camera. This would be a fairly rare occurrence but I don't want it to be super sluggish.

Apple ACD: I have one with MiniDisplay Port. It would be good to be able to use it, but it's not essential. I'm basically asking whether it is technically possible to connect them.

Peripherals: I listed the ones I do use. On a regular day, I only use headphones and USB hard drive. The MacBook has enough ports for this. If I need the printer, I'll disconnect the USB drive.

Yes, I want a fanless design. My iPhone or iPad don't "seem" to run slower in warm weather. Why would the MacBook?

To summarize:
95% of what I do is text or web.
I would like the option to view and edit 4K video as an amateur. I would like to be able to do stuff in PhotoShop on 16MB Raw files. Can the MacBook do this?

Is there any way to connect the ACD?

On a purely hypothetical future-proofing note: Is 60hz needed if I'm not playing games?
 

Mollan

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Jul 29, 2013
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Interesting, you planned a usage that is significantly heavier that what I would like to do with this machine (for heavy stuff I have the MBPr 15 i7) and still I'm not sure whether to wait WWDC.

The new MBPr will have the MBA form factor (ideally 1.1 - 1.2 Kgs), more ports, more speed, more capacity, more battery, better webcam... and the price cannot be much higher.

I'm really in doubt whether to order the MB12 1.1 m3 or wait for the new MBP or a huge discount on MBA...

The killing option would be if Apple releases new MBPr in 14 and 16 inches, without increasing the global size of the machines. Only there I'll see a use for the MB12.
 

deeddawg

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I'm really in doubt whether to order the MB12 1.1 m3 or wait for the new MBP or a huge discount on MBA...
Based on your post I see no reason not to wait it out and make a decision once you see what (if anything) is released at/near WWDC. Remember while we have our speculations, Apple is pretty good at doing whatever Apple chooses to do rather than what media pundits and forum denizens think they ought to do.
 

Mollan

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Jul 29, 2013
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Based on your post I see no reason not to wait it out and make a decision once you see what (if anything) is released at/near WWDC. Remember while we have our speculations, Apple is pretty good at doing whatever Apple chooses to do rather than what media pundits and forum denizens think they ought to do.
Right :)

I was just wondering where the new MBP will be in terms of prices. For me it matters since the new laptop will be my second machine, in addition to the MBPr 15 i7

With the MB12 as entry level at 1449€, they have only 3 options:

1) Keep the MBA, in a single version (like the MBP Unibody now), with a slightly decreased price: MBA -> MB12 -> MBP13 --> MBP15
2) Discard the MBA, with a price increase in MBP: MB12 -> MBP13 -> MBP15
3) Keep the MBA and increase the MBP prices (hope not this one...).

I'm pretty positive that something will be released at WWDC, the question is just how pricey it will be compared to the current version :)

Apart from that, this MB12 is definitely beautiful (480p webcam excluded)
 

deeddawg

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I think the key thing to keep in mind right now is whatever the MBP pricing might be, you're not facing a time-delimited price savings on the rMB or MBA. As best as I know your cost today for either an rMB or MBA is no different from what the cost will be in June or whenever you know more about the MBP.

Contrast to here in the US in March when the store chain BestBuy was offering $300 discounts on 2015 rMB models, plus had openbox units at an even deeper discount, and had 10%-off coupons available that expired on 31 March. That was a situation where you had to make a bet on whether the new rMB would or would not be sufficiently better than the 2015 model to justify the price difference.
 

where is it

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2012
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England
Right :)

I was just wondering where the new MBP will be in terms of prices. For me it matters since the new laptop will be my second machine, in addition to the MBPr 15 i7

With the MB12 as entry level at 1449€, they have only 3 options:

1) Keep the MBA, in a single version (like the MBP Unibody now), with a slightly decreased price: MBA -> MB12 -> MBP13 --> MBP15
2) Discard the MBA, with a price increase in MBP: MB12 -> MBP13 -> MBP15
3) Keep the MBA and increase the MBP prices (hope not this one...).

I'm pretty positive that something will be released at WWDC, the question is just how pricey it will be compared to the current version :)

Apart from that, this MB12 is definitely beautiful (480p webcam excluded)

On the point of a 480p webcam. Is it really that bad?

Unless you are super nice looking, most likely an HD webcam would be overkill?
 

deeddawg

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Jun 14, 2010
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On the point of a 480p webcam. Is it really that bad?
I probably ought to look at mine. Just to be sure it works okay. I really never have used that stuff much at all, so webcam quality is effectively meaningless for my use case.

Now if I had a super hot girlfriend that lived somewhere else, THEN the quality of the webcam she was using would be important... Though I suspect my wife might disagree.
 
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Mollan

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On the point of a 480p webcam. Is it really that bad?

Unless you are super nice looking, most likely an HD webcam would be overkill?
I live abroad and I Skype every day with family, friends and GF. The differences are remarkable, and is always nice not to have blurry images. And also, it would be nice to have features pretty common these days. Not asking for a 1080 camera, but the minimum now should be 720 :)

A stupid comment I read around is "the 720p camera (3.8 mm) cannot fit in the display since it is too thin (3.5 mm). But neither a common keyboard could fit into the MB12...and they built a new one!

However, differences does not that look big here: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/macbook-vs-xps-13

I think most people are much more annoyed by the idea of not having a part which compares good to the global market in a 1500€ computer...even if they will never use that part :)

It's like the impossibility of removing default apps on the iPhone. Who cares, if you have 64 Gb...but the thing is really annoying :p
 
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InfiniteLoopy

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Original poster
Dec 14, 2010
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Interesting, you planned a usage that is significantly heavier that what I would like to do with this machine (for heavy stuff I have the MBPr 15 i7) and still I'm not sure whether to wait WWDC.

The new MBPr will have the MBA form factor (ideally 1.1 - 1.2 Kgs), more ports, more speed, more capacity, more battery, better webcam... and the price cannot be much higher.

I'm really in doubt whether to order the MB12 1.1 m3 or wait for the new MBP or a huge discount on MBA...

The killing option would be if Apple releases new MBPr in 14 and 16 inches, without increasing the global size of the machines. Only there I'll see a use for the MB12.
OK, so if we build a prospective 13/14" MBP. The current 13" Air weights 1.35kg. That's 430g more than the MacBook. Could they really get the 13" Pro down from 2.06kg to even 1.3kg? I am doubtful.

Basically, I'm looking at the MacBook as my primary computer for at least the next two years. I'm just trying to decide whether it can be....
[doublepost=1461336950][/doublepost]Regarding the MiniDisplay Port on my ACD. Would This: http://www.amazon.com/Belinda®USB-DisplayPort-Adapter-Aluminium-ChromeBook/dp/B0155BR8BM connect the MacBook to it at native resolution?
 

Mollan

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OK, so if we build a prospective 13/14" MBP. The current 13" Air weights 1.35kg. That's 430g more than the MacBook. Could they really get the 13" Pro down from 2.06kg to even 1.3kg? I am doubtful.

Basically, I'm looking at the MacBook as my primary computer for at least the next two years. I'm just trying to decide whether it can be....
The MBA is 0.92 Kg
The MBA is 1.35 Kg
The MBP13 is 1.58 Kg
The MBP15 is 2.06 Kg

I think that everything will be scaled down by 0.2 Kg, which for the MBA would mean that he'll be replaced by the MB12 and will be the "oldest", not updated model in the family.

To be honest, as a primary machine I won't ever get the MB12. There are too many obvious improvements Apple will introduce in the next update (720p camera, another usb-c at minimum)
 
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InfiniteLoopy

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The MBA is 0.92 Kg
The MBA is 1.35 Kg
The MBP13 is 1.58 Kg
The MBP15 is 2.06 Kg

I think that everything will be scaled down by 0.2 Kg, which for the MBA would mean that he'll be replaced by the MB12 and will be the "oldest", not updated model in the family.

To be honest, as a primary machine I won't ever get the MB12. There are too many obvious improvements Apple will introduce in the next update (720p camera, another usb-c at minimum)
Sorry, I must have copied the 15's weight instead of 13's.
Yeah, even if the 13" MBP gets to 1.35, it's still ~400g more.

Thing is, at present, the FaceTime camera is annoying, but I don't really need more ports than one... :eek:
 

Mollan

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Jul 29, 2013
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Sorry, I must have copied the 15's weight instead of 13's.
Yeah, even if the 13" MBP gets to 1.35, it's still ~400g more.

Thing is, at present, the FaceTime camera is annoying, but I don't really need more ports than one... :eek:
Actually me neither, especially in mobility :) But being able to connect the hard drive AND the power would be nice :) There're tons of hubs for that, but we still loose speed and they can't power enough things at the same time, like charging a phone AND the computer...which is pretty common in mobility/airports
 

InfiniteLoopy

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Actually me neither, especially in mobility :) But being able to connect the hard drive AND the power would be nice :) There're tons of hubs for that, but we still loose speed and they can't power enough things at the same time, like charging a phone AND the computer...which is pretty common in mobility/airports
Yeah but again, I usually always carry a portable powerstick thing for my iPhone. Hypothetically though, if you had the $80 Apple hub/dongle, could you not charge both your MacBook AND iPhone with that (or some similar third party one)?
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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I think that you are right on the edge as to whether or not the MacBook would meet your needs. Realistically, the only way you will probably know for sure is to take one home and use it for a week or two during the return window. I can't speak with personal experience as to how well it works editing video - even at a basic level. My impression, from reading lots of user opinions here - is that it will probably work ok for basic use.

As for connecting to your ACD thunderbolt display, there are not any docks yet shipping, AFAIK, that offer displayport compatibility with charging. The Hydradock still promises it, but it's been 'on the verge' of shipping for nearly a year now. 4k 30hz is semi-passable. The problem is that 30hz is a low enough refresh rate that even standard activities like scrolling, mouse movement, and fast typing, will be visibly affected.

My expectation is that the MBP line will be updated such that there is a 13-14" model with everything you need, including Thunderbolt 3 connections, probably in the 2.5-3lb range. You have to decide whether a more powerful computer that's probably about half again as heavy and bulky as the rMB is a better fit for you, or if you value the incredible portability of the rMB as it sits now, even if it means compromise on some of the things you like.
 
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InfiniteLoopy

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I think that you are right on the edge as to whether or not the MacBook would meet your needs. Realistically, the only way you will probably know for sure is to take one home and use it for a week or two during the return window. I can't speak with personal experience as to how well it works editing video - even at a basic level. My impression, from reading lots of user opinions here - is that it will probably work ok for basic use.

As for connecting to your ACD thunderbolt display, there are not any docks yet shipping, AFAIK, that offer displayport compatibility with charging. The Hydradock still promises it, but it's been 'on the verge' of shipping for nearly a year now. 4k 30hz is semi-passable. The problem is that 30hz is a low enough refresh rate that even standard activities like scrolling, mouse movement, and fast typing, will be visibly affected.

My expectation is that the MBP line will be updated such that there is a 13-14" model with everything you need, including Thunderbolt 3 connections, probably in the 2.5-3lb range. You have to decide whether a more powerful computer that's probably about half again as heavy and bulky as the rMB is a better fit for you, or if you value the incredible portability of the rMB as it sits now, even if it means compromise on some of the things you like.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :) The fact is that even though I may wait until WWDC, I am leaning toward the MacBook. Though a 2.5lbs MBP would be very compelling ...but it would still have a fan.

My ACD is NOT the Thunderbolt display one, but the one with the MiniDisplay Port. Is there nothing that would work with that, even the one I linked to previously (http://www.amazon.com/Belinda®USB-DisplayPort-Adapter-Aluminium-ChromeBook/dp/B0155BR8BM)?

4k: For what it's worth, I've seen videos on YouTube of people editing 4K on the MacBook's screen and it seems "passable". Does anyone have any more info on this?

So the downsides FOR ME:

The MacBook's 60hz @ 4k (that I may never use), the storage issue that I'm undecided on, the lack of a good hub.
The MBP: FANS!, More weight, I'm paying for power I don't need, not available "today".
 

davys

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Mar 24, 2010
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That's kind of more of what the Macbook is for, ultra portability and an extension of a home office set-up. Rather than an exclusive system.
Thank you for this statement, it makes a lot of sense to me and helps me see things in a different light when thinking about purchasing the MBr.
 

rip-the-jacker

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2011
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thats the setup I'm going for man..

i have my rMB for out and about, and my main system (ordering today or tomorrow) the baseline 27" iMac with the 256SSD.



RTJ
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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What sort of 4K video editing are you looking to do? For basic cutting etc the MacBook should be fine as you can even do that on the iPhone itself. However, if you're looking to add effects, work with multiple files/sources and produce more professional-level videos then the MacBook will likely feel a bit slow.

As for the storage, have you considered getting a NAS?
 

deeddawg

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That's kind of more of what the Macbook is for, ultra portability and an extension of a home office set-up. Rather than an exclusive system.
I agree completely with this statement, and it is this use case where I think the rMB really shines. It has a number of compromises that limit its ability to serve as someone's sole computer, unless that individual has pretty modest needs.
 

InfiniteLoopy

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Dec 14, 2010
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What sort of 4K video editing are you looking to do? For basic cutting etc the MacBook should be fine as you can even do that on the iPhone itself. However, if you're looking to add effects, work with multiple files/sources and produce more professional-level videos then the MacBook will likely feel a bit slow.

As for the storage, have you considered getting a NAS?
Really just cutting, maybe adding some text, music, fade ins and outs. Nothing incredible. Nothing professional.

NAS: I'd want to take my files with me if I travelled for an extended period of time, so am looking at portable storage.